It is the eleventh consecutive year since the financial crisis that fewer than 200,000 new dwellings have been completed and the rate of growth slowed significantly compared to 2017.
According to official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of permanent new dwelling completions in the UK grew by 2.1 per cent in 2018 to 198,930.
This was compared to the almost 14 per cent growth in 2017 which took the total number of completions to 194,770.
Homes England was launched at the start of 2018 with the aim to achieve a quota of 300,000 new homes a year by 2020.
However, as the ONS noted, the current situation remains some way short of the government’s target.
Since 1990, housing construction has only broken the 200,000 completions mark in four years, all in the boom up to the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. (See chart below)
In its construction industry data for 2018, the ONS also revealed that productivity in the sector fell by 4.8 per cent in the sector in the final quarter of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier.
In contrast, there was zero productivity growth within the whole UK economy across the same period.
“This suggests the sustained stagnation in productivity growth, dubbed the ‘productivity puzzle’, remains unsolved,” the ONS said.